Not a joke - does anyone know enough about the nesting habits of bats to know if once they've moved into, say, a crack in the middle of a very popular route like Red Lead (VS 5a) at Auchinstarry Quarry then are they there for the foreseeable?
Or do they do their...bat mating thing then head off somewhere else after a while?
They were noted to be there back in June 2020 so when, if ever, might we expect them to leave?
I think they stick with their favourite roosting spots, unless disturbance becomes too severe, but hopefully one of the bat experts will be along to advise. Certainly Fledgling Flakes in Water Cum Jolly is a finger crack that is full of bats 🦇 and has been for years 😬
I don't know for bats nesting in cliffs, trees etc but those roosting in buildings tend to use the same roost for many years. Imagine its the same 'outside'.
It’s certainly an offence to disturb a bat roost in your house, so I imagine the same would be true for more natural,roosts. I guess if you know they are there, climb elsewhere might be wise.
Bats aren't like birds. It isn't an 8 week nesting and fledgling. They tend to live in semi permanent roosts. The also go into varying degrees or hibernation or torpor in the winter months
Please don't disturb them. They have statutory protection, but more importantly, the Poor little sods have a hard time of it with light and noise pollution, habitat loss and development and we should help them to thrive when we come across them
However bats sometimes have a selection of summer roosts that they use which may also include temporary resting roosts too, which they may not return to year after year.
They also often won’t use the same roost year round too. So in late spring/summer, females will gather in maternity roosts while males often roost individually or in small groups else where. Then after the young are grown (around August/September) females will leave and form mating roosts with males. Then around November they will move to cooler, quieter hibernation roosts until the following spring.
So if this crack is a summer roost the bats probably (but not certainly) won’t be there in winter.
Similar to birds nests, bat roosts are protected by law (under the Habitat Regulations) and it is illegal to intentionally disturb them. So if you know they are roosting on a route probably best to avoid until they are gone.
I knew there would be someone with good background knowledge on a fascinating topic. all very thought-provoking. Like many, I have often seen bats in cracks while climbing and just resolved to climb past as quietly as circumstances allow. Some of these are well known - Fledgling Flakes (HVS 5b) - being one. Of course, these sites are rarely obvious from the ground, but on some cliffs are quite widespread, with some bats on quite a few routes at times. Makes me wonder if guidebooks could contain bat information as well as bird restrictions, though it might lead to significant legal complications if bats are then disturbed.
Pretty common in the Peak crags. I guess tricky to know if they are still there now as temps are down and its unlikely to see them leaving and returning dusk and and dawn i think.
It it's a maternity roost I'd imagine they are still there and will be over winter?
No bat expert, but the original line for Red Lead avoids the crack, by a tricky move left to the flake ( which may currently be dirty as almost everyone goes up the crack). But the inhabited crack is, i believe, on White Slab. So you can enjoy the classic route, just go the right way!
Someone on here asked for records of bats in crags for a university study a year or two back. I'm not sure if they ever reported their findings.
Absolute no doubt crags will be full of bats and agree with previous post that notes of bat roosts should be included in the UKC logbook and/or guidebooks.
Hi Topher, yes you're correct - the bats are on White Slab not Red Lead - my mistake.
Just call Bear Grylls - he'll solo up and sort them out, probably make sandwiches out of them.
Like smoking them out with fire, swatting them out of the air with homemade tennis racket and stomping on them gleefully? I am sure the Chief Scout would never do something as terrible as that! Oh well...
Aren't bats considered the origin of CoViD 🤔
Concerning guidebooks - would be easier to implement via logbooks / apps, as with seasonal or temporal bird closures for nesting. Once they are gone, the warning could go as well.
Billy Ridal has had his 'best day' of rock climbing during which he climbed Keen Roof (Font 8B), Fat Lip (Font 8B) and Superman Sit Start (Font 8B+), all of which are on Peak limestone.